A recruit who was ranked higher than No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns 12 months ago is now an undrafted free agent

Cliff Alexander

Cliff Alexander, a 19-year-old NBA prospect who was a top-five recruit coming out of high school in 2014, went undrafted Thursday night.

While 60 players heard their names called, Alexander — who just a year ago was ranked higher than No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns and No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell — did not.

Described as a dominant bruising big man with tremendous athletic ability, Alexander had a tumultuous freshmen season at Kansas.

After a severe ankle injury cost him valuable practice time throughout the summer, he could only show flashes of his talent in limited minutes. An extremely efficient scorer in high school, Alexander scored 15 or more points in just two games at Kansas.

In March his season was cut short due to an NCAA investigation into his family allegedly receiving improper benefits from a financial firm specializing in pre-draft loans for athletes looking to turn pro. He missed Kansas’ last three regular season games, and was held out for both the Big 12 and NCAA tournament due to the NCAA’s investigation into the matter.

After declaring for the NBA Draft, more concerns were raised when Alexander only measured in at just over 6-foot-7 without shoes and suffered a right knee injury during a pre-draft workout for the Los Angeles Lakers. But even with all the questions surrounding him, Alexander was still projected to be drafted at the tail end of the first round.

After going undrafted, he sent out this tweet saying he’s use it as motivation:

This isn’t over for Alexander. He tops most experts lists of best available undrafted players and will surely get an offer from an NBA team to compete in the Summer League. 

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